Commission recognizes Thorsby FFA

Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Chilton County Commission gave recognition to the Thorsby FFA, as state champions at the start of Monday’s meeting. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The Chilton County Commission gave recognition to the Thorsby FFA, as state champions at the start of Monday’s meeting. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Members of the Thorsby FFA were recognized during the Chilton County Commission meeting on Monday for their team and individual success as state champions.

“The skills that they get out of this will carry them through life,” Thorsby FFA sponsor Brian Lucas said.

The Commission acknowledged that they represented the state of Alabama at the 2016 National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis this past week.

“Not many 17-year-olds get the chance to say that they competed at the national level,” Thorsby FFA member Chyanne Martin said.

As a result, the Commission passed a resolution that will be handed out during a ceremony at the school at a later date.

“I’m proud to say that I was a graduate of Thorsby High School,” Commissioner Allen Caton said.

After lengthy congratulations, the meeting continued and Tommy Truss stood before the Council and a packed room of concerned residents to once again bring up the issue of fumes from the Stella Jones plant along Highway 31.

“It breaks my heart every time I drive down that highway, just knowing that people in Chilton County have to put up with this,” Commissioner Heedy Hayes said.

According to Truss, the harsh smelling fumes covers about a five-mile radius from Thorsby to Collins Chapel.

“We have a problem and we are looking for answers,” Truss said. “People are trying to sell their property, but are unable to because the property values are down.”

The residents of the town have gown back and forth with Stella Jones with no impact on the current circumstances.

“This council does not have legal power, and all we can do is pressure them into doing something,” Commissioner Joseph Parnell said. “Unless there is a violation of the EPA ruling, there’s nothing we can do.”

Truss presented the Commission with three questions. The questions were if they or any family members benefit financially from the plant, what they have done to help in the past year and whether he can count on their support moving forward.

The Commission passed three resolutions in an attempt to help solve the problem.

The first asking Stella Jones to honor the previous commitments to Boatright Railroad Products and to live up to the former contract, while the second resolution will ask ADEM to test the air quality around the plant.

A final resolution was approved asking the governor and state representatives to consider taking action and getting involved with the matter.

“We all live here and what affects you, affects all of us,” Commissioner Bobby Agee said.

It was the final meeting as members of the Commission for Hayes and Shannon Welch. Hayes has been a Commissioner for 24 years, while Welch served the past four.

“Thank you for your friendships and the jobs that you all do for this county,” Welch said. “You’re not always going to do the right thing, but all you can do is strive to do the best that you can. I believe that we did that these last four years.”

A retirement party is scheduled for Friday to honor Hayes for his many years of service.

“The thing that our county is most proud of right now is the hospital,” Parnell said. “We wouldn’t have that hospital without Heedy Hayes. He protected that money.”

The party will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commission boardroom on the first floor of the Chilton County Courthouse.

In other news from the meeting, the Council:

  • Approved a resolution to authorize the county attorney to proceed with the acquisition of property for the construction of the RAMP bridge on County Road 478 by way of eminent domain.
  • Granted permission for the road department to hire an operator from an existing pool of applications to replace Richard Lowery, who is retiring after 26 years of service.
  • Passed a resolution to award annual bids to the road department for cold mix, plant mix, striping, road signs, pipe, diesel, gasoline and liquid asphalt.
  • Approved a request from tax collector Tim Little to open a new PayPal account to accept customer payments.
  • Approved a resolution for the Sheriff’s Office to award the janitorial bid to Alabama Paper due to the lowest bid.
  • Approved a resolution stating the condition of the water heaters at the Chilton County Jail as an emergency.
  • Approved the purchase of replacement water heaters for the jail from Chilton Boiler Company.